The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program at the Milken Institute School of Public Health (SPH) at the George Washington University is committed to improving the health and well-being of women, children, adolescents and families through teaching, research, practice, policy and service. The MCH Master of Public Health (MPH) program is grounded in a life course perspective as an organizing framework that acknowledges distinct periods in human development and presents both risks and opportunites for interventions. Further, the academic program explores MCH from an interdisciplinary perspective that intergrates the biological, demographic, epidemiological, developmental, environmental, behavioral and social characteristics that are unique to the health and well-being of women, children, adolescents and families in the United States and around the world.
At the George Washington University, we are proud to educate students who are committed to improving public health and engaging in and promoting public service. We emphasize these qualities in the MPH Maternal and Child Health program because they are essential for future health professionals and public health practitioners. In addition, we’re certain that Maternal and Child Health graduates can:
- Assess the health care needs of women, children, and families.
- Plan, design, implement, evaluate, and communicate programs and research targeted toward health promotion and disease prevention among women, children, and families.
To help students fit graduate school into their daily life, Milken Institute SPH provides flexible course offerings, which allows Maternal and Child Health students to take up to 15 credits online.
There are no specific prerequisites for entering Maternal and Child Health master’s program, other than a prior bachelor’s degree or higher degree. This program is a good fit for anyone with an interest in improving human health. Students who are especially interested in working with diverse populations of women and children and those who wish to study broad categories of health programs are great candidates for this MPH in Maternal and Child Health.
GW Center of Excellence in Maternal & Child Health
With the awarding of a five-year grant in 2020 from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), our Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program is recognized as one of 13 MCH Centers of Excellence. We’re thrilled to now have additional resources to help develop MCH enthusiasts into future professionals who will make a difference and be the difference for population and personal health.
We are building the future by educating the next generation of local, national, and global public health professionals who will work to ensure that women are healthy before, during, and after pregnancy, and address the physical and mental health needs of women, children, and families across their lifespan.
We take great pride in the successes of our alumni, and each year, we look forward to serving a new cohort of MCH students who come to us eager to learn and participate in a field that has only grown more important in light on the coronavirus pandemic. We take our responsibilities seriously, but we don’t let that stop us from having fun as we work and learn together.
For more information about the Center, please visit our website at https://mch.publichealth.gwu.edu/
MPH Core Requirements
PUBH 6000 | MPH Applied Practice Experience (0 credits)
PUBH 6002 | Biostatistical Applications for Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6003 | Principles and Practice of Epidemiology (3 credits)
PUBH 6007 | Social and Behavioral Approaches to Public Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6011 | Environmental & Biological Foundations of Public Health (3 credits)
PUBH 6012 | Fundamentals of Health Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6021 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 1: Leading Self and Teams in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6022 | Essentials of Public Health Practice & Leadership 2: Managing Organizations & Influencing Systems in Public Health (1 credit)
PUBH 6023 | Interprofessional Education Experience (IPE) (0 credits)
CORE TOTAL: 15 CREDITS
PUBH 6015 | Culminating Experience (2 credits)
CE TOTAL: 2 CREDITS
Maternal & Child Health Requirements
Required Program-Specific Courses
PUBH 6500 | Planning & Administration of Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Programs (3 credits)
PUBH 6501 | Evaluation of Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Programs (3 credits)
PUBH 6550 | Maternal & Child Health I: Foundations (must be taken in the first Fall Semester enrolled in the program) (3 credits)
PUBH 6551 | Maternal & Child Health II: Advanced MCH Research (pre-requisite: PUBH 6002; may be taken simultaneously with PUBH 6550) (3 credits)
PROGRAM-SPECIFIC TOTAL: 12 CREDITS
Maternal & Child Health Selectives
(16 credits: 10 credits from approved list of courses below plus 6 credits of additional GW graduate level coursework)
MCH Population & Topics
PUBH 6552* | Women’s Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6553 | Adolescent Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6563* | Global Child Health (2 credits)
PUBH 6555 | Reproductive Health: US and Global Perspectives (2 credits)
PUBH 6560 | School Health and Safety (2 credits)
EXNS 6242 | Nutrition Through the Life Cycle (2 credits)
PUBH 6240 | Pediatric HIV/AIDS (1 credit)
HDEV 6109 | Child Development (3 credits)
Policy & Advocacy
PUBH 6561 | MCH Policy Analysis (2 credits)
PUBH 6359 | Reproductive Health Policy (2 credits)
PUBH 6335* | Public Health & Law (3 credits)
Applied Methods & Program Design
PUBH 6620 | Designing Healthy Communities (2 credits)
PUBH 6503* | Introduction to Public Health Communications and Marketing (3 credits)
PUBH 6269 | Reproductive & Perinatal Epidemiology (1 credit)
PUBH 6514* | Preventing Health Disparities (2 credits)
PUBH 6235 | Epidemiology of Obesity (1 credit)
PUBH 6452 * | Social and Behavior Change Communication in Middle- to Low-Income Countries (2 credits)
PUBH 6400* | Global Health Frameworks (2 credits)
PUBH 6455* | Global Vaccinology (3 credits)
PUBH 6481* | Global Mental Health (2 credits)
*These classes are additionally offered online. A maximum of 15 credits can be attributed to online courses.
6 credits of additional graduate level coursework
Please reference the program guide for additional information.
SELECTIVE/ELECTIVE TOTAL: 16 credits
Students in degree programs must participate in eight hours of Professional Enhancement. These activities may be Public Health-related lectures, seminars, or symposia related to your field of study.
Professional Enhancement activities supplement the rigorous academic curriculum of the SPH degree programs and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. You can learn more about opportunities for Professional Enhancement via the Milken Institute School of Public Health Listserv, through departmental communications, or by speaking with your advisor.
Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Training
All students are required to complete the Basic CITI training module in Social and Behavioral Research prior to beginning the practicum. This online training module for Social and Behavioral Researchers will help new students demonstrate and maintain sufficient knowledge of the ethical principles and regulatory requirements for protecting human subjects - key for any public health research.
Academic Integrity Quiz
All Milken Institute School of Public Health students are required to review the University’s Code of Academic Integrity and complete the GW Academic Integrity Activity. This activity must be completed within 2 weeks of matriculation. Information on GWSPH Academic Integrity requirements can be found here.
Past Program Guides
Program Guides from prior Academic Years
Students in the MPH in MCH program should refer to the guide from the year in which they matriculated into the program. For the current program guide, click the "PROGRAM GUIDE" button on the right-hand side of the page.
To view sample schedules and learn about the core competencies developed within the program, see the degree program guide.
Practicum / CE
Students in the GW MPH programs gain practical skills and knowledge through their practice experiences. It is important for MPH Maternal and Child Health graduates to feel confident in their skills and gain real-world experience during their studies. Students in the Maternal and Child Health MPH degree program complete both an Applied Practice Experience (practicum) and a Culminating Experience to practice their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.
In the Department of Prevention and Community Health, the Applied Practice Experience (practicum) is designed to engage students in a Practice Activity—a planned, supervised, and evaluated experience in a public health organization. The Practice Activity can be related to either primary research or public health practice. It might include activities such as conducting literature reviews, writing proposals, designing ad campaigns, or collecting and analyzing data.
The Practicum is similar to an internship but differs in that the student works with the Practicum adviser to create specific work objectives that align with both MPH and MCH competencies. The Practice Activity for the MPH Maternal and Child Health degree may not be directly related to the student's day-to-day work. This is to ensure that students learn and apply new skills in the context of public health. If the student does conduct the Practice Activity at his/her place of employment, it must be work for which the student is not remunerated.
The Culminating Experience (CE) integrates the knowledge and skills students acquire through their academic work and the Practice Activity. The CE, requires students to identify and define a specific public health issue and formulate hypotheses to address that issue. Students work with data obtained through either primary research or from an existing dataset. The process of proposal development, data analysis, interpretation, and extrapolation of the results culminates in a written report or manuscript and an oral presentation.
Our graduates are working in a variety of professional positions, some of which are:
- Research Coordinator
- Project Coordinator
- Public Health Advisor
- Health Policy Analyst
- Program Manager
- Field Health Specialist
- Data Analyst
- Outreach and Community Engagement Manager
- Health Education Coordinator
Our graduates work with these types of organizations:
- American Cancer Society
- American Public Health Association
- Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
- Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health
- Center for Health & Gender Equity
- DC Department of Health
- HIV Medicine Association
- Intuitive Parenting
- Marcy’s Center
- Save the Children UK
- Society for Women’s Health Research
- Whitman-Walker Health
- Zero to Three
Students pursuing an MPH in Maternal and Child Health have access to a world-class faculty with relevant expertise and diverse experience in research, governmental, clinical, and educational settings. The many areas of interest and research experience for professors and lecturers in Maternal and Child Health Master of Public Health program include program planning, program design and evaluation, research methods, design theory, and policy advocacy.
Here is a list of our current faculty in the MCH program:
- Amita Vyas, Ph.D., MHS (Program Director and Director of the GW Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health)
- Karen McDonnell, PhD
- Melissa Napolitano, PhD
- Monica Ruiz, PhD
- Carla Berg, Ph.D., MBA
- Nitasha Nagaraj, DrPH, MPH
- Jerry Franz, BA